Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Unforgettable writer

A person reads a countless number of books during his/her life-time but there are only a few which can leave a permanent mark in us. 'Teacher Man' is such a remarkable book for me. The book is a memoir written by an Irish-American teacher and a writer Frank McCourt.

Most of all, I am fascinated by his compelling style of writing. The flow of writing is just amazing coupled with self-deprecating humour. He sounds brutally honest too. Each and every page is full of interesting accounts. He has described a teacher's life and classroom activities extraordinarily. He points out that a writer can write about anything; there should not necessarily be special events around to weave in writing. He compares "what goes inside our mind all time" with writing. McCourt says that when we make decisions to deal with our everyday life we are writing them in our mind. Really, he has an unbelievable story-telling talent.

McCourt had worked as a creative writing teacher in different New York high schools for 33 years. His career, however,  had not begun in a grand way. In the beginning his work was under-appreciated. As a result of this he had to move from one teaching job to another. In fact, he was out-of-the-box for 'the system' because he used to follow his peculiar pedagogy. He was more interested in his students' lived experiences, so he would devise lessons around those experiences. He writes that he felt guilty for not sticking to the curriculum. After going unrecognized for 15 long years he eventually got his voice in teaching. No matter at which school he taught McCourt's experiences with teenagers are always unforgettable and heart-touching. Overall, 'Teacher Man' is an excellent example to showcase how the ordinary events can be presented in an extraordinary way. McCourt's creative writing teacher's personality has been reflected in the entire book.

In addition, he also gives a tremendous hope to late boomers. It seems like there is no age bar for the writing career since McCourt  himself started writing after his retirement from the teaching job at the age of 60. He wrote his first book 'Angela's ashes' at the age of 66. After the publication of this book his life changed forever for the best. For instance, he won the National Book Critics Circle Awards and the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 and 1997 respectively for the same book. His popularity led him to meet President Bush, Lady Diana and other well-known personalities. All in all, be became an international celebrity after 60 and enjoyed his fame until he died in 2009 when he was 78 years old.  

 {The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.] 

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